5 Things to Know When Giving an iTunes Gift Card

There are a lot of reasons to buy an iTunes gift card, but there are also a lot of things you need to know when giving these cards out as gifts. You won’t have many issues when purchasing the gift card from a legitimate retailer, but when purchasing online, there are a few things that you should know:

redeem itunes

1. Redeem the Card ASAP

Have you heard of code generators? These generators allow a person to randomly try a variety of different gift card codes. Sometimes, these codes will not work, and the person will not be able to use the code.

But there are some generators that work.

If you don’t redeem your card, the code may be used by someone else. This is fraud, but it may be very difficult to track down a person who has used a code generator. If you do purchase an iTunes gift card online or from someone you know, make sure that you check the balance prior to giving the card to someone else.

receipts

2. Include the iTunes Gift Card Receipt When Gifting

I am terrible at throwing receipts away because I always assume that there’s no need for them. The problem is that Apple support will want to see the original receipt if you do have an issue with your gift card.

This may be a hassle, but we’ll see why a receipt is a must-have when someone gets an iTunes gift card.

Theft is common with gift cards, and Apple support knows that the gift card you’re calling about may be stolen. A receipt shows that you are the actual owner of the gift card. If you purchase the gift card through an auction or marketplace, ask the seller for the original receipt.

Otherwise, you have no proof that you actually own the gift card that you’re trying to redeem or gift.

apple support

3. Report a Lost or Stolen iTunes Gift Card

You plan on buying a gift card, but there are a few things to consider. The gift card can be stolen, and if this happens, you’re out of your money in most cases. The good news is that Apple’s support is here to help.

Apple may have a bunch of overpriced products, but the company stands by their products and gift cards.

You’ll receive exceptional customer service as a gift card holder.

Remember the receipt that you didn’t want to save earlier? Well, this receipt can be used if you lose or have your gift card stolen.

You have two main forms of contact when trying to reach Apple:

When reaching out to Apple, you’ll need to explain that your card was stolen or lost. The company will do their own due diligence here, and this means that they’ll do two things:

  • Verify that the card was not stolen
  • Verify that the balance has not changed

If you provide your receipt, the representative will then be able to disable the previous gift card and send you out a new card. Cards that have already been redeemed may not be able to be recovered. Apple will not allow you to request a new card if the previous one was depleted.

Even your original receipt will not be able to help in this situation.

The main issue is that there’s no means to prove that you did not sell the card. If the card is depleted, Apple will assume that you used the card yourself or sold it to someone else. But if the card was just stolen, you can request a replacement.

You’ll want to request a replacement promptly so that the other person cannot redeem the card.

apple card

4. Difference Between an iTunes Gift Card and an Apple Gift Card

If you plan on buying someone a gift card, you need to make sure that you purchase the right gift card. The right card will allow a person to purchase the top apps along with:

  • Downloadable products
  • Music
  • Software

But there are a lot of different gift cards being offered through Apple. The company is huge, and they offer a lot of different gift cards. I am going to run through all of the cards that you can purchase so that you never make the wrong purchase for a card that you plan on gifting a friend.

The following cards are available:

iTunes Gift Card

The iTunes store is separate from the Apple Store and Apple Music. You’ll want to view this as an entirely different entity. If the person you’re gifting the card to has an iPhone or iPad, there’s a good chance that you’re giving them this card with the intent that they’ll be able to purchase:

  • Apps
  • Software
  • Music
  • Downloadable products

You can also use this card with Macs, so it’s a great overall gift card. If you find yourself debating which gift card to purchase from Apple, I highly recommend an iTunes gift card. These are the most versatile gift cards offered by Apple.

Apple Music

There are Apple Music gift cards, too. This can be confusing because the previous gift card can also be used to purchase music. But you would use the iTunes gift card to purchase certain albums or singles.

Keep in mind that Apple Music is used for the Apple Music subscription.

Apple Music is one of the leading music streaming services. As a subscription, the platform allows you to stream songs – 50 million in total. You can stream songs across all platforms, and the catalog is still growing.

But you have to pay a monthly fee for the service.

You don’t actually own any of the songs that you stream. Instead, you have a right to listen to the entire catalog, but you do not have actual ownership. Your favorite artist will be paid based on how many streams they receive.

If you want to support artists, a direct purchase is the ideal option, so the iTunes gift card is preferred in that case.

Apple Music comes with a 3-month free trial. The monthly subscription fee is $9.99 per month, or $14.99 per month for up to six people. You can also receive a discount if you’re a college student.

College students pay just $4.99 per month for the same great service that everyone else enjoys.

If you want to purchase music for someone, the Apple Music gift card is a great buy. Teens also love this subscription because they’ll have access to all of their favorite music at all times.

Apple Store Gift Card

If you purchase an Apple “Store” gift card, this is the most limiting option. This card is meant to be used in the company’s physical stores. The person cannot tie the card to their Apple account or use it for purchasing apps or anything of that nature.

You’ll purchase these cards for someone who wants to go to Apple and purchase:

  • Hardware
  • Software
  • Third-party accessories

Apple stores need to be in the person’s location, too. I know that the nearest store to me is over 30 minutes away, and in more rural areas, this distance may be even further. Again, this is a great card if you know someone is going to make a major Apple purchase.

The person can go to the Apple store and use the gift card as part of their payment when purchasing an iPhone or any other product sold in stores.

When the person actually goes to the Apple Store, they will not be able to redeem any of the other cards we mentioned. The company has done well to separate their business into iTunes, Apple Music and physical stores.

If you know a person is looking to purchase a Mac or iPad, you may be better off buying them an Amazon gift card or another major retailer’s gift card. Apple Store gift cards are rather restrictive, so they’re not the best option for anyone who wants a versatile gift card.

In the worst-case scenario, you may be able to swap the gift card with someone else.

I would recommend ensuring that the swap comes with the original receipt and a balance check. It’s vital that you do your own due diligence here to make sure that the card you’re getting in exchange works, is valid and is not stolen.

There are a lot of people using iPhone and Apple, and when there’s a massive following, this means that there are also a lot of scams to be worried about. People are always using these gift cards for scamming people, and that’s what I am going to cover in-depth in the next section.

hacker

5. iTunes Gift Card Scams

You should not be surprised that there are gift card scams. Government agencies are still being hacked by phishing attacks which have been in use for decades. People still make the same mistakes, time and time again.

Scams are causing people to lose their gift cards.

A few of the most common scams are:

Pay via gift card. A common scam, and one that a lot of people are falling for time and time again, is someone calling your phone demanding a debt be paid. Imagine your electric company or the government calling claiming that you owe them money. If you miss a payment, you can be fined or your service may be cut off. The person on the other end is scamming you, and they have been generous enough to take a gift card as payment. No one is really taking gift cards as payment, definitely not these entities:

  • IRS
  • Hospitals
  • Utility companies
  • Jails (bail money)
  • Debt collectors

Balance checks. A very complex scam is that of a person calling you to claim that your gift card was hacked or stolen. The person may provide a number to call to verify your balance. The person may also make the three-way call for you. But the scam happens when the person asks that you divulge your gift card numbers on the back of the gift card. The person may even call Apple directly allowing you to hear the real balance.

Stolen numbers. Some scammers will go behind a store counter, look at the gift card’s number and steal it. You will have a card that doesn’t work from the start, or the person will somehow mark the card and know when it’s been purchased from the store. Once legally purchased, they will then redeem the balance on your behalf.

There are also a lot of scams via email and social media where people will attempt to phish your gift card information. It’s a major problem, and another issue occurs when purchasing cards from eBay or the like. When no one is checking the validity of the cards, the seller may be selling a card that has been depleted.

You’ll often find scammers trying to sell these cards in person, and one way to determine if you’re being pushed into a scam is to see if the person is rushing. A lot of sellers that are rushing for a sale and keep discounting their cards often scam the buyer.

If the deal sounds too good to be true, there’s a very good chance that it is a scam.

There has also been a consumer alert about a Facebook scam circulating around the Internet. The scammer will claim that they are from the government and will provide you with additional benefits if you provide them with a valid gift card.

The government is never going to reach out to you on social media.

You will never be asked to provide any private information over social media channels or on the phone randomly. No one is going to use your iTunes gift card as a way to increase your government benefits or allow you to use the card to pay off other debt.

The worst thing you can do is turn over your gift card and start reading the numbers off to some random person. If you do this, you’re asking to be scammed out of your gift card’s balance.

If you do get scammed, contact Apple immediately and see if a representative can help remedy the situation.

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